Federal Information Processing Standards

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For the county code, see FIPS county code. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_0

United States's Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are publicly announced standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for use in computer systems by non-military American government agencies and government contractors. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_1

FIPS standards are issued to establish requirements for various purposes such as ensuring computer security and interoperability and are intended for cases in which suitable industry standards do not already exist. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_2

Many FIPS specifications are modified versions of standards used in the technical communities, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_3

Specific areas of FIPS standardization Federal Information Processing Standards_section_0

The U.S. government has developed various FIPS specifications to standardize a number of topics including: Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_4

Federal Information Processing Standards_unordered_list_0

  • Codes: for instance, standards for encoding data (such as FIPS county codes or codes to indicate weather conditions or emergency indications). In 1994 NOAA began broadcasting coded signals called FIPS codes along with their standard weather broadcasts from local stations. These codes identify the type of emergency and the specific geographic area, such as a county, affected by the emergency.Federal Information Processing Standards_item_0_0
  • Encryption standards, such as the Data Encryption Standard (FIPS 46-3) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (FIPS 197)Federal Information Processing Standards_item_0_1

Data security standards Federal Information Processing Standards_section_1

Some FIPS standards have related to the security of data processing systems. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_5

Some of these included the use of key escrow systems. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_6

Withdrawal of geographic codes Federal Information Processing Standards_section_2

Some examples of FIPS Codes for geographical areas include FIPS 10-4 for country codes or region codes and FIPS 5-2 for state codes. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_7

These codes were similar to or comparable with, but not the same as, ISO 3166, or the NUTS standard of the European Union. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_8

In 2002, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) withdrew several geographic FIPS code standards, including those for countries (FIPS 10-4), U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_9 states (FIPS 5-2), and counties (FIPS 6-4). Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_10

These are to be replaced by ISO 3166 and INCITS standards 38 and 31, respectively. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_11

Some of the codes maintain the previous numerical system, particularly for states. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_12

In 2008, NIST withdrew the FIPS 55-3 database. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_13

This database included 5-digit numeric place codes for cities, towns, and villages, or other centers of population in the United States. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_14

The codes were assigned alphabetically to places within each state, and as a result changed frequently in order to maintain the alphabetical sorting. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_15

NIST replaced these codes with the more permanent GNIS Feature ID, maintained by the U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_16 Board on Geographic Names. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_17

The GNIS database is the official geographic names repository database for the United States, and is designated the only source of geographic names and locative attributes for use by the agencies of the Federal Government. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_18

FIPS 8-6 "Metropolitan Areas" and 9-1 "Congressional Districts of the U.S." were also withdrawn in 2008, to be replaced with INCITS standards 454 and 455, respectively. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_19

The U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_20 Census Bureau used FIPS place codes database to identify legal and statistical entities for county subdivisions, places, and American Indian areas, Alaska Native areas, or Hawaiian home lands when they needed to present census data for these areas. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_21

In response to the NIST decision, the Census Bureau is in the process of transitioning over to the GNIS Feature ID, which will be completed after the 2010 Census. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_22

Until then, previously issued FIPS place codes, renamed "Census Code," will continue to be used, with the Census bureau assigning new codes as needed for their internal use during the transition. Federal Information Processing Standards_sentence_23

See also Federal Information Processing Standards_section_3

Federal Information Processing Standards_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal Information Processing Standards.